Endings and beginnings
Learning to say goodbye, and learning to believe in yourself
I was madly in love with a man who in many ways was everything I ever wanted. We enjoyed the same things. Our families got along. We traveled well together and shared the same vision for the future. Sex wasn’t great, but I could make it work. Fast forward, he left me. He’s already with someone else and making plans to get married. He refused to marry me. I’m heartbroken. Why didn’t he choose me?
He did, sweetheart, until he didn’t. That’s the rhythm of life, a cycle of beginnings, in-betweens and endings. The loss of a loved one doesn’t mean that you are less loveable or less desirable. Rather, the container you have been in—the relationship itself—is no longer a fit.
Did you outgrow it? Or did he? Sometimes change occurs because the ego prefers to stay small and seeks another connection that feels familiar, even though from the outside the new partnership might appear radically different. It’s also possible that you and your former partner outgrew the relationship you were in and refused to acknowledge it until denial was no longer possible.
Speaking of denial, please reread your words: “Sex wasn’t great, but I could make it work.” Doesn’t that sound dismal? Compromises are understandable in a committed relationship, but your perspective seems to be that you found a man with whom you could enjoy a lifestyle you valued. Could it be time now to explore the depth of love and passion possible in a committed relationship? I suspect that’s the next stage in your life journey, if you’re willing. Here’s what you’ll need: the courage to get naked emotionally with a man and explore the edges of your heart’s boundaries.
I’m a college freshman in a competitive arts program. The other girls in the program—all upperclassmen—tell me I don’t belong. They criticize me and make fun of my work. I’ve pushed myself my whole life to get here and hate it. I don’t know if I should do something else for a career or find another school. I have support from my professors, but maybe they are just being nice because I’m a freshman? Advice, please.
Ask yourself why you believe the mean girls, but not your professors. Is it because the cruel words and attitudes of your peers match your deepest fears about yourself? Competitive environments bring out the predator in some people. But that doesn’t mean you should behave as a predator or prey. Evolve beyond that kind of all-or-nothing thinking. Look in the mirror and say: I am following my dream despite normal obstacles and critics. It’s hard sometimes, but I don’t let that harden me. When someone criticizes me, I say thank you silently to myself because that person has just revealed who they are, and I have the heart to see them. When my work is appreciated, I say thank you because that person has just revealed who they are to me, and I have the heart to see them. Got it? Either way, you’re just fielding opinions. What’s most important is your ability to follow your dream.